Port-au-Prince, Haiti Haiti’s electoral commission said Friday that hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean cannot run for president of this Caribbean nation, ending his outsider’s bid to lead a country struggling to recover from the Jan. 12 earthquake.
Jean, who faced a challenge to his candidacy in the Nov. 28 elections because he has not lived in Haiti for the past five years as required, issued a statement urging his supporters to remain calm and respond “peacefully and responsibly to the disappointment.”
“Though I disagree with the ruling, I respectfully accept the committee’s final decision, and I urge my supporters to do the same,” he said.
The electoral commission approved 19 candidates and rejected 15, spokesman Richardson Dumel told journalists late Friday, without providing justification for the decisions.
While rejecting Jean, the board approved two leading presidential candidates, former Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis and Yvon Neptune, who was the last prime minister under ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and has been active in helping to coordinate reconstruction efforts.
Also allowed to run is Michel Martelly, a well-known Haitian singer known as “Sweet Mickey.”